US, Turkish military chiefs discuss diplomatic presence in Afghanistan
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke by phone on Sunday today with Turkish Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar to discuss bilateral cooperation and maintaining continued diplomatic presence in Afghanistan.
Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_According to the U.S. Department of Defense, Austin reaffirmed the importance of the longstanding #U.S.-Turkey defense relationship and thanked the Minister for the continuing communication and cooperation on peace and security issues.
This comes after reports emerged recently that Turkey has agreed to provide security for and run the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul once all foreign troops have #withdrawn.
Turkey stated however that there were conditions attached to their offer.
In an interview with TRT this weekend, Afghan Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar said Afghanistan welcomes Turkey’s offer to run the airport.
“We believe that this will be essential for continuation of Turkish and NATO as well as the international community’s support to Afghanistan. This is going to be important for the diplomatic community in #Kabul and it’s also important for international assistance to Afghanistan,” he said.
He also said that he believes the new system will see Turkey as the lead nation in protecting the #airport and might be supported by other NATO allies including Hungary.